** CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: March 18, 2020 ** Ferry service to Cumberland Island National Seashore “has been suspended until further notice,” according to the National Park Service (NPS). Starting March 18, 2020, “the mainland visitor center and museum, Sea Camp ranger station, Plum Orchard and all campgrounds will be closed. All visitor activities, programs and tours are cancelled,” states an announcement by the NPS. (This includes the cancellation of camping reservations through April 15, 2020.)
Private Boat Access
During the suspension of the ferry service (amid the coronavirus public health emergency), those with private boats (not charters), can still access Cumberland Island during daytime (only), for use of the park’s grounds. “Trails, beach, and restrooms are still open,” for those with private boat access, according to the NPS (March 18, 2020). Docking with private boats is on a first come, first served basis, as usual, and no overnight docking is allowed. To stay up to date on the situation, follow the National Seashore’s Facebook page (for further news updates). Questions? Call Cumberland Island National Seashore‘s park office at 912-882-4336 x254 (from 8 AM to 4 PM) .
Is There A Ferry From Amelia Island?
Even though these two barrier islands are located in very close proximity at the Florida-Georgia border, there is no direct ferry service from Florida to visit Georgia’s Cumberland Island National Seashore. (The exception is a private ferry from Fernandina Harbor Marina for guests of the Greyfield Inn.)
Where To Catch National Park Service Ferry?
The ferry to Cumberland Island National Seashore departs from St. Marys, GA at 9 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. daily (7 days a week), during spring and summer seasons. The ferry schedule for spring and summer 2020 begins March 1st and continues through Sept. 30, 2020. (Ferry schedule further below with return trip times).
Mar. 1 – Sept. 30, 2020 Daily Ferry Times
** UPDATE: Ferry service has been suspended starting March 18, 2020, until further notice, due to Coronavirus concerns. **
|Leave St. Marys, GA||Arrive Cumberland||Depart Cumberland||Arrive St. Marys, GA|
|9 a.m.||9:45 a.m.||10:15 a.m.||11 a.m.|
|11:45 a.m.||12:30 p.m.||2:45 p.m. (Mon-Sat)||3:30 p.m.|
|4:45 p.m.||5:30 p.m|
The 10:15 a.m. ferry departing from Cumberland Island is utilized by overnight campers.
How Long Is Ferry Ride?
It’s a 45-minute ferry ride to Cumberland Island from St. Marys, Georgia.
Since Hurricane Irma, an alternative ferry dock in St. Marys (the “Gateway Dock” pictured), is still being utilized. This requires a bit more time for parking and walking to the dock. It’s about three blocks away from the NPS Cumberland Island Visitor’s Center where ferry passengers check in before departure.
Cost To Go To Cumberland Island?
The cost for a round trip ferry ticket to Cumberland Island National Seashore, with taxes and fees, for an adult passenger is $34.10 (advance ferry ticket reservations can be booked online). There’s also a $10 National Park Service admittance fee. Thus, the total cost for one adult to visit Cumberland Island for a day trip is $44.10. Visitors must bring over their own day’s supply of food/snacks/beverages — there are no stores. Also, there are no trash receptacles on Cumberland Island. It’s a pack in, pack out policy, so everything you bring onto the island must be carried back off when departing.
Directions To St. Mary’s Ferry
When driving from Amelia Island, Florida to catch the St. Mary’s, Georgia ferry service, plan for 45 minutes to an hour’s drive (depending on traffic). For GPS or Google maps, enter the Cumberland Island Visitor Center’s address: 113 St. Marys Street West, St. Marys, GA 31558.
Arrive Early To Check In
Even those with advance reservations for the National Park Service ferry are advised to arrive early. According to the NPS website, “All unclaimed ferry reservations will be cancelled 30 minutes prior to departure and those spots will be offered to walk-in visitors.” The Park Service and ferry concessionaire advise ferry reservation holders to arrive in St. Marys, GA one hour early before departure time, to check in at the Visitor’s Center. Questions? Call the NPS at 912-882-4336.
Read related article by Amelia Island Living with travel tips about what to expect and how to prepare for an island adventure, “Cumberland Island, Delightful Day Trip.”
Cumberland Island Camping
Thinking about a camping excursion on Cumberland? Read article about Cumberland Island’s five campgrounds, two developed and three wilderness sites.